William “Willie” Sutton was born the fourth of five children on June 30, 1901, in Brooklyn, New York. He never made it past the eighth grade, but he was known as a “prolific” bank robber. During his 40-year criminal career, he stole an estimated $2 million. Legend has it that he was asked why he robbed banks. Reportedly, his answer was simple:
“Because that’s where the money is.”
Whether this conversation actually took place is not the point. It’s so believable because it’s so logical. Today, I find myself comparing Willie Sutton and the Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He’s spent most of his campaign attacking wasteful federal spending, even though he himself has partaken from that same federal troth.
When he lead Bain Capital, a highly profitable private equity investment firm, he earned millions and took full advantage of the tax codes to multiply his money. He’s even had accounts in the The Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and Bermuda. Hey, that’s legal, isn’t it?
Did you hear how he single-handedly saved the troubled 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic games? Okay, single-handedly isn’t exactly correct because he gathered his team and milked every penny from the federal government he could. Some of his methods seemed a bit cold, but that’s up to interpretation, I guess. But these pennies stacked up to be $410 million. Not bad, huh?
In a long-forgotten tape from the 2002 Massachusetts governor’s race obtained by ABC News, Mitt Romney is seen touting his Washington connections and his ability to get those millions of taxpayer dollars from the feds. You can click here to view the story and video on the ABC News website, but here is raw footage of Romney speaking, which was featured in the ABC story:
It looked like one of those real estate infomercials we used to watch 20 years ago, didn’t it? But seriously, there’s a very important question to be asked and I’d love it if someone from our news media would ask Mr. Romney:
“Gov. Romney, are any of the programs you used in Salt Lake City or Massachusetts going to be cut, should you become President?”
His answer would be quite interesting.
Did you watch the video? If you did, you might have heard Mr. Romney say five familiar sounding words:
“Washington is where the money is.”
Yeah, Mitt Romney: Willie Sutton in a corporate suit, just a few electoral votes from the presidency.
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